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Technology shares decline as Asia-Pacific markets slip; RBI interest rate decision ahead

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific slipped in Friday morning trade, with technology shares regionally taking a hit.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba fell 0.95% in Friday morning trade. The losses came despite Alibaba-affiliate Ant Group receiving approval to operate a consumer finance company. That marked a major positive development for Ant in the forced restructuring of its business months after its highly anticipated debut was abruptly shelved.

Other Hong Kong-listed Chinese tech firms saw heavier losses: Baidu plunged 3.62% while Tencent slipped 1.3% and Meituan shed 2.41%. The broader Hang Seng TECH index fell 1.24%.

Investor sentiment on the sector may have taken a hit after U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday expanded restrictions on American investments in certain Chinese firms with alleged ties to the country’s military and surveillance efforts. Chinese telecommunications powerhouse Huawei Technologies was among the 59 companies named.

Technology stocks elsewhere also fell in Friday morning trade. Japanese conglomerate Softbank Group declined 1.43% while South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix shed 1.94%.

Asia-Pacific markets decline

The broader Asia-Pacific markets largely declined in Friday morning trade.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.56%. In mainland China, the Shanghai composite slipped 0.45% while the Shenzhen component shed 0.435%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.72% while the Topix index shed 0.39%. South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.77%.

Meanwhile, stocks in Australia bucked the overall trend, with the S&P/ASX 200 0.11% higher.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.54% lower.

Looking ahead, the Reserve Bank of India is set to announce its interest rate decision at 2:15 p.m. HK/SIN on Friday.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.492 after a recent climb from below 90.3.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.15 per dollar, weaker than levels below 110 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7662, lower than levels above $0.772 seen earlier in the week.

Oil prices dipped in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures 0.43% lower at $71 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.38% to $68.55 per barrel.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • India: Reserve Bank of India’s interest rate decision at 2:15 p.m. HK/SIN

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